I had noticed a sudden change in the quality of the essays submitted two of my students. When I confronted them, they were quite frank and admitted that due to lack of time, they had assigned their papers to be written by an outside source, an essaywriting service (a booming business that must be).
What is the proposed penalty?
If I take this on an administrative level, they face a pause of educational activities for 6 months to 1 year. But since this is the first incident, I do want them to learn their lesson, but at the same time taking into account that they were honest with me, not being punished too hard.
What do you propose? Is there something I can do to keep this from an administrative level and at the same time punish them?
Offer a ceiling grade -- perhaps a maximum possible course grade of B.
They were honest; this would be fair.